Baylor program supports student veterans in transition from military

Posted at 3:57 PM, Nov 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-12 17:00:06-05

Kevin Davis knows the struggle transitioning from the military to civilian life.

"I was a student veteran myself. I came from the Marine Corps and into Baylor," Davis, the program manager of the VETS program at Baylor, said. He served in the marines from 2003 to 2007.

"I was part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005. Kind of went around the Fallujah and Baghdad area. I served over there for about a year in 2005 [and] served with the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion."

After getting out of the service, Davis went back to school. When he started at Baylor, there was no program to help him transition.

"For me, I leaned heavy on family support.  I went through Baylor experience without getting the full Baylor experience. It was about the degree and the means to a career path," Davis said.

Davis is using his experience to help student veterans at Baylor transition to civilian life.

Jessica Alford is the VA Coordinator. She served as a liaison between the VA and Baylor. She helps students with anything they need, from making sure tuition is paid on time to figuring out what benefits are available to them.

"These people are willing to give their life. So I'm just honored that I get to serve them in some kind of way," Alford said.

Alford and Davis work together to serve the student veterans.

Davis meets with student veterans on a weekly basis to talk, share ideas and help them with whatever they need.

"The biggest struggles are finding that system of pure support again.You know we come from this world of really deep engrained comradery and brotherhood and sisterhood that it's hard to replace when you aren't in foxholes with each other and training with each other on a daily basis," Davis said.

Staff Sergeant Clayton Tynes says the VETS lounge in the Sid Richardson building has been a big help in finding that comradery again.

"It's kind of a place of our own. We all come in here to study, hang out. It knocks out that feeling of isolation," Tynes, the president of Veterans of Baylor, said.

Davis says the program is about now serving the ones who served our country.

"My job now is an adventure every day. Honestly these students I get to serve, all the stories they're bringing and their backgrounds, the adversity their facing and wrestling with every day, and overcoming. You can't help but be inspired," Davis said.

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